Who Plays the Lottery: Are Older People More Likely to Buy Tickets?

Are Older People More Likely to Play the Lottery?

Is age a factor when it comes to being an optimist about winning the lottery? Are young people more likely to play the lottery because they’re still enthusiastic and anything but jaded? Does age and experience act as bigger motivators?

If you’ve ever taken a look at the profiles of bigger lottery winners, you’ve probably seen that they tend to be older most of the time.

Yes, some very, very, very young people have won, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Today, we’ll take a look at the age groups most likely to play if such a distinction can be made at all.

So, Who Plays the Lottery the Most?

We’ve already touched upon the fact that poorer people are much more likely to play the lottery than the ones who have a bigger income. In fact, low income individuals buy a disproportionately big number of lottery tickets.

When it comes to the age of the players, however, research seems to be missing.

One study that sheds some light on this curious question is called Gambling and Lottery: Sociodemographic Correlates Across the Lifespan. The study found out that almost 70 percent of the people in their 20s and 30s buy lottery tickets. As age goes up, the numbers go down.

Two thirds of people in their 40s, 50s and 60s buy lottery tickets. The number goes down even further for older folks. Only 45 percent of the people aged 70 and older tend to buy lottery tickets on a regular basis.

So, the findings in this study are quite different from what the general consensus seems to be – that older guys and gals are much more active lottery players than their younger counterparts.

Similar studies have also been carried out in the UK.

People aged 18 to 25 aren’t as active as those in the American study. Of these people, 1/6 buy a lottery ticket at least once per month. A third of the people aged 25 to 34 do the same. Nearly 50 percent of those aged 35 or older buy lottery tickets at least once per month. This UK survey is a bit more consistent with the trend that we’ve been observing.

The same survey also found out that people aged 55 to 64 are the most likely group to buy scratch cards. Of these people, 31 percent buy a scratch lottery ticket at least one time per month.

Ok, so it was a bit misleading on our behalf to say there aren’t that many studies pertaining to age. What we meant is that the number of these studies is relatively small in comparison to other demographic factors that are examined in relationship with the lottery ticket buying.

To sum things up, we’ve taken a look at one final study from the US. This final one suggests that people aged 30 to 64 are the ones that buy the biggest number of lottery tickets in the US. Another interesting fact, however, has been brought up by the researchers. Those aged 50 to 64 are the ones that spend the most on lottery tickets. Their average expenditure is set at 6.72 dollars.

Those aged over 65 and very young people are statistically unlikely to buy more than one lottery ticket. So there you have it!

What about the Age of Lottery Winners?

Surely, the age at which people win is much more important than the age at which they buy lottery tickets, right? So, we’ve taken our research a step further to find out what’s the lucky age when it comes to becoming a millionaire. Should you hold your horses and wait until you retire to start playing? Should you put all of your effort into it now, while you’re still young? Let’s see what the experts have to say about it.

Statistics in the US have been compiled by taking a look at 34 national lottery winners. Of these people, eight were men and 26 were women. Ladies, it seems that luck is on your side, but we digress! The average age of these lottery winners was 46.

There have been numerous stories of quite old people eventually getting their big chance.

In 2013, a woman aged 84 became the person to win the single biggest lottery jackpot at the time. Gloria Mackenzie from Florida scooped the incredible 590 million dollars, opting for a lump sump payment, rather than annuities (and we know why – a little bit of dark humor never hurt anyone!).

While Gloria is a contender for the prize of the oldest lottery winner, there’s someone who had gotten lucky at an even older age. Reginald Smith from the UK won 2.3 million pounds in 2003. He was 85 at the time showing that there’s no right age or time to keep on hoping that you’ll eventually change your destiny.

The BBC spoke to Reginald, who said he would have been happier had the win occurred in his 20s or 30s. Still, Reginald was more than eager to take what life had offered him.

Gloria and Reginald are impressive, but they have nothing on Nguyen Van Het from Vietnam. Nguyen was 97 at the time when he won 7.6 billion Vietnamese dong (about 317,000 US dollars at the time). Nguyen had modest dreams for using the money. He said that he was going to do a bit of shack remodeling and eat something delicious like red meat. IN addition, the oldest Vietnamese millionaire went ahead to buy a sack of rice for all of his neighbors.

News about Nguyen’s fortune spread quickly. Soon, there were people piling on his doorsteps and asking for help. A worried neighbor even had to call the officials because Nguyen was attempting to assist everyone, which meant that he would be running out of the lucky money pretty fast.

Researchers make an argument that it’s best to win the lottery at a time when you have enough experience to use the money wisely. For some people, this age could be in their 30s for other – their 60s. If you’re looking for an ideal formula, just give up right now. Buy your tickets when you feel like it, whether you’re 21 or 85.